The next Barotrauma update has been quietly cooking since the beginning of the year, and it’s almost ready to be served – we’re planning on releasing it on the last week of this month. The update is medium-sized, with new content and fixes… and it’s ready to be tested by all of you right now.
Welcome to testing Barotrauma!
We’ve had a test version of Barotrauma in place for three years already, for our players to contribute feedback and bug reports before we release updates. Recently we’ve made some changes to improve that testing process further.
For one thing, we have removed the need to enter a passcode to access the test version through Steam betas. We’ve kept the test version, Unstable, under lock and key until now to try and make sure players who enter it are aware that the version they are about to download is, by definition, not stable. We’re hopeful we can now open Unstable testing to a larger part of our playerbase without running into problems because of its unrefined state, so, welcome on board!
Are you interested in testing unreleased, unfinished versions of Barotrauma? Find out more in this post on our Steam forums. To get a real-time overview of content currently available in the Unstable beta, you can now also filter for Unstable tickets in our GitHub.
New content & fixes
So, what are you going to find in the Unstable right now and for the next couple of weeks? Let’s take a look at what the update contains (and don’t forget to check our Trello for more details as always).
Outpost medical services
Remember all those times you wished you could talk to an NPC on board a station and have them heal your whole crew? Following the next update, you can: just like other existing outpost services, the host or other players with permissions can buy healing services for the crew. Healing is done per affliction, and prices vary according to the difficulty of the affliction to be healed.
In related news, we’re currently also working on the long-requested crew wallets. They’re not yet included in this update, but once we get them ready for release, they will also affect healing: all crew members will have a personal budget to spend however they choose, on items or services. Look forward to the wallet addition later in the coming spring.
We’re adding three new submarines: the attack subs Herja and Barsuk, and the new deep diver Winterhalter. The new subs should be particularly useful for campaigns to fill gaps in the vanilla sub roster. We’re looking to continue fleshing out the sub selection, with emphasis on transports and deep divers, with later updates leading up to 1.0. We’re also paying close attention to both player feedback and analytics to see what kinds of subs are in highest demand now that we are in the balance and polish stages of submarine technology development.
New and improved enemies
We’re also adding three new monster variants. On your next adventure, be on the lookout for the Veteran Mudraptor, Giant Spineling and Crawler Broodmother. Can you already guess what each of them is like?
Besides these new monsters, we’ve made many monster improvements on the whole: monster missions and random monster spawns have been worked on, and the entire creature roster of Barotrauma has received a balance pass to tune things like damage they do, damage they take, as well as when and where you encounter them.
We’ve also addressed a number of monster AI issues, so all in all you may spot significant changes in creature encounters after the next update.
Last year we introduced a complete overhaul of human characters. As is often the case with big overhauls, we had to release it as a stripped-down version first, and here comes part two: we’ve further differentiated and refined jobgear variants as well as hair and facial hair styles, and revisited all the human body and face sprites to give them a touch of Europa – some polish here, dirt and roughness there. We’re also adding more variants later on.
The new character visuals should blend in with the rest of the game a little better now, and we hope you’ll like them!
Performance improvements & various fixes
Every update we make contains fixes, but this time we’re making a number of fixes and improvements that should specifically improve performance for players on low-end systems. Find out more on Trello.
Get an early glimpse of all the new features and content on Unstable now and stay tuned for the stable release of the update later this month!